Doug Lefler

Lessons I’ve Learned at the Center of the Earth

In my youth I spent much time reading hollow world literature and exploring the folklore. I took Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and lived for the span of five novels in Edgar Rice Burrough’s Pellucidar. I imagined what existence would be like at the core of the world, but some things you can’t fully visualize until you go through the exercise of drawing them. Here are three things I’ve discovered while illustrating The Heart of the Hollow World.


Lesson One

Water is not blue. I’ll assume that most of you are reading this on the outer surface of our world, where streams, lakes and oceans reflect the color of the sky. But there is no sky at the Earth’s core, so what must be reflected is the color of the terrain and the warm glow of the inner sun.


Lesson Two

Everything is top lit. Not the most flattering lighting for most human faces, but when you live on the inside of a concave sphere with an inner sun at the center, it is always noon. Which means anytime you’re outdoors it’ s top down lighting for you.


Lesson Three

Edgar Rice Burroughs claimed that navigation was near impossible in the inner world. Without heavenly bodies such as constellations, and the rising and setting of the sun, native Pellucidarians had to develop a sixth sense to find their way home.

But as you draw a world with no horizon, where the landscape curves gently upward until it is lost in the atmospheric haze you realize how remarkably easy it would be to find your way. All you have to do is glance upward to see a map of the world surrounding you.

I hope these insights are helpful in planning your next excursion to the hollow world.

One comment

  1. Ah, I see you have learned from personal experience in your travels. And that you have found the Other Entrance. Dangerous knowledge, that.

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